When choosing what type of wedding you and bae want to have, big or small, you will be thinking not only about who will be at your wedding, but also, what kind of experience you want to have throughout the entire process. For our wedding, we ended up doing a courthouse ceremony with an intimate backyard reception. With a lot of our family living overseas, this felt like the best option for us as we planned our wedding day.
When deciding what to do for your wedding, you and your soon to be spouse need to sit down and figure out what is important to YOU before you even consider bringing anyone else, friends or family into the equation.
When starting to plan you’ll want to start your conversation with these three things: rough budget, experience, and non-negotiables. Here’s the break down.
When looking at your budget, you want to think through what you want to spend as a total, and also, what you’re looking to spend on specific things. Is having your wedding documented well super important to you two? Then you’re looking to spend about 6-8k on photographers and videographers. Are you guys really just looking to eat some good food? You might want to plan your wedding around your dining experience. Is your priority going somewhere new and cool for a destination wedding experience? Then you’ll want to spend a bit more on your travel. Whatever your budget might be, having the discussion with your partner so that you’re both on the same page is key. You’re then able to plan accordingly so that you can avoid any unnecessary surprises.
What kind of experience are you wanting to have? Are you looking to party with your 30 cousins and all your college friends? Then a big wedding might be what you need. Or maybe you’re looking to have a smaller gathering spent with intimate conversations with family and friends. In that case a small wedding or elopement might be what you’re looking for. Big or small you always want to think about your own experience as you plan your wedding. How much of the planning do you want to outsource? How much do you want to take on yourself? Are you looking to have your family help? Typically the larger the wedding the more planning has to go into it, so keep that in mind as you’re in the early stages of mapping out your wedding day.
More than likely, you both have a list of a few MUST-HAVES for your wedding day. You and bae need to sit down and make a list of the things you have to have at your wedding day and make sure they stay at the forefront of your mind as you’re planning. Whether it’s family being present, having a one of a kind experience for just the two of you, or even a dream location that you’ve always hoped to go have your wedding at. Put these at the top of your list as you begin to make decisions about your wedding day so that you’re able to plan around them and neither of you have to miss out on what you truly want for your wedding day.
Once you have laid these out on the table you’ll be able to start going over the pros and cons to having a big or a small wedding in order to decide on what you want out of your wedding day experience.
According to Brides.com industry standard has intimate weddings at a guest list of about 50-75 people and everything above 150 to be considered a “large” wedding. Every guest list is going to look different for each couple with there being so many different factors that impact the brides and grooms including but not limited to, family size, circle of friends, religion, culture, location and so many other factors. This can make deciding on a big or small wedding pretty difficult!
To help we are going to go over some of the Pros and Cons of doing a big or small wedding.
You won’t need a cap on who can attend
Have circles of friends where you can’t really just invite one or two of them? Not a problem! With a larger guest list it becomes MUCH easier to invite the people you want to without hesitation. There’s no stress on who to chose or feelings of guilt when you can’t invite someone that you’d like to be there.
Everywhere you turn you’ll be greeted with a hug and excitement. Even the people you might not know as well or haven’t seen in years will be beyond happy to see you and celebrate with you!
You’ll have plenty of help from friends and family
With that endless guest list, you’ll be able to ask your friends and family for help. Remember though as you ask for help to be clear in what you want and what you’re asking them to do. After all this is still your wedding day and it should be done the way you want it.
More one on one time with guests
Not gonna lie, at larger weddings couples really don’t get to spend much time with any of their wedding guests other than their wedding party aside from the quick hello and congratulations. With a more intimate wedding you can spend a lot more time having actual conversations with each of your guests catching up over drinks and boogeying on the dance floor. For some inspiration check out how Katie and Tim spent their time with their guests at their intimate elopement.
With a smaller wedding there are a LOT more options for hosting you and your guests. Between air bnb’s, DIY wedding venues and wedding venues in cities and small towns, the options are really endless for your big day, which can be helpful in your budgeting as well.
More room for personalization
With a smaller guest list, you’ll be able to get your hands on more of the details throughout your wedding day. Between gifts, decor, food and vendors, you’ll be able to make sure everything is in order and exactly the way you imagined it in your head.
You can spend less time planning
Not really a fan of the whole party planning thing? Well, with a smaller wedding there are so many fewer decisions you have to make for your day. This can be a life saver if you’re really not the planning type.
More limited selection of venues
With a larger wedding the options for possible venues is limited by the amount of people you have attending. The simple fact is a lot of spaces can only handle a certain amount of people and this can really limit your options, especially if you’re envisioning a certain style of venue.
Less time to talk with your guests
Let’s face it, the more people you have at your wedding the less time you’re going to have to talk and catch up with the people you care about. Everyone is going to want to get a chance to congratulate you have a quick chat. This can make the day turn into a whirlwind of constant short conversations that end up making the day fly by.
It can be a lot to take on
Between the planning, the invites, and the whole wedding day itself there’s just a lot more that goes into a larger wedding. If planning is is something that stresses you out you may want to get some assistance if you’re set on having a larger wedding. That way you’re still able to enjoy your wedding day without burning yourself out before hand.
You can’t invite everyone
Depending on your wedding venue you may only be able to invite a certain amount of people to your wedding. This can get challenging if you have a good amount of people that you both want to invite and can add some stress to the situation when deciding who is and isn’t invited.
More things on your plate
With less people coming to the wedding there are fewer hands around that you can ask for help. Depending on your plan for vendors this issue can be avoided, but if you’re going the more DIY route it can be a lot for you and your family/friends to take on. Make sure no one is overwhelmed (especially you!) so that everyone can enjoy your wedding day.
Your wedding day is something that you should be able to enjoy exactly the way you want to. When planning it is incredibly important to discuss all the different aspects of the day with your partner. Plan out what you are both looking for, plan out how you are going to get there, and make it happen in a way that doesn’t leave you both stressed out excited for it all to be over. This is YOUR wedding day, big or small you should enjoy it!